The Best Safe Sunblocks

All right, so we’ve been really digging the sun this week, right? I wanted to share with you some of my favorite sunscreens and sunblocks with you!

I have two basic guidelines for picking sunblock:

1. No oxybenzone (watch out for this in lip balms containing SPF too!)

2. If “fragrance” is listed in the the ingredients, there’s no limit to the type of chemicals in the entire formulation. Scary, right? You want a fragrance-free option. If you smell like a coconut, your sunblock has fragrance in it that could be potentially hazardous. (Sorry!)

With that said, there are some great sunblocks out there that I love and are safer than most.

1. I love Alba’s Very Emollient Sunscreen. I love both the SPF 20 facial sunblock (which you have to reapply really regularly, because it’s not water resistant)  and the SPF 30, which is fragrance-free and water-resistant for up to 40 minutes. Both are free of chemical sunblockers and use only zinc and titanium oxide for full spectrum protection. And they don’t turn my skin crazy, ghostly white! (I’ve had that problem with Badger sunscreens.) The Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Database rated Alba’s blocks a 2 out of 5, so it’s a relatively low-hazard sunblock.  And you can get it at Target and Whole Foods, so it’s easy to find.

2. I also love Dr. T’s Supergoop antioxidant-infused sunblock, which is also rated a 2 of 5 in the Skin Deep database. It’s a little more expensive but it has only chemical sunblockers in it–no zinc oxide–so it doesn’t discolor your skin at all and can be used under makeup. You can get it at Nordstrom or online.

3. My backup for when I’m really stuck and out of town and my choices are limited is to pick up a bottle of Coppertone. Their formulation uses avobenzone instead of oxybenzone. Coppertone tends to be more of a moderate hazard according to the Skin Deep database so it’s better to use Alba or Supergoop on a regular basis, but this can be used in a pinch.

And if you’re at sea with only a couple mainstream sunscreens to choose from, just remember to check the labels. No oxybenzone, no fragrance. And remember to love and appreciate your skin, from porcelain to bronze. It’s all beautiful!